Best portable music players

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In which case, one of these fine items will fit the bill. Whether you want to save memory and battery on your phone, investing in a high-end PMP to double as a DAC or just need your portable sound to be as good as it can, look no further.

MORE: High-resolution audio: everything you need to know

Under £100

FiiO M3

This player may be tiny, but its storage will free up valuable space on your phone. It sounds good for this money, too.

SPECIFICATIONS

Expandable memory | 24-bit/96kHz support | 2in display

Reasons to Buy
Small and lightweight
Expandable microSD storage
Detailed sound
Hi-res support
Reasons to Avoid
Small controls won’t be for everyone

Under £200

Cowon Plenue D

The Plenue D is a great step up from smartphone sound, and doesn't cost the earth.

SPECIFICATIONS

24-bit/192kHz support | Touchscreen | 128GB expandable memory

Reasons to Buy
Punchy bass
Insightful midrange
Well organised
Good tonal balance
Reasons to Avoid
Nothing of note at this price

Under £400

Astell & Kern AK Jr

An old-timer but still deeply impressive - and the more affordable it gets, the better it sounds.

SPECIFICATIONS

3.1in touchscreen | 24-bit/192kHz support | Expandable memory

Reasons to Buy
Tidy styling, fine build
Decent battery life
Proper volume levels
Balanced, brisk sound
Reasons to Avoid
Only affordable by A&K standards
That tactile frame is a little pointy

Under £800

Astell & Kern AK70 mkII

The AK70 was our 2017 Product of the Year, but the MKII improves on it. We're talking better sound, better transparency, better design. In fact, it's just plain better.

SPECIFICATIONS

64GB storage | 150g | Tidal

Reasons to Buy
Brings sonic improvements over AK70
Class-leading transparency
Tidal access
Can perform DAC duties
Nice design
Reasons to Avoid
No MQA support

Under £1200

Astell & Kern Kann

A 2017 Award-winner, the Kann's striking design, excellent feature set and hi-res sound make this player a must-listen for those looking to spend a little more.

SPECIFICATIONS

32bit/384kHz playback | Wi-fi and Bluetooth connectivity | 64GB of expandable storage

Reasons to Buy
Good array of features
Superb detail
Strong, dynamic presentation
Punchy bass
Reasons to Avoid
Unique design might not be to everyone’s tastes